UARA Late Models weigh in...
UARA Late Models weigh in at 3,100 pounds. While most competitors choose to run open V-8 engines with a 390 four-barrel carburetor, the GM crate motors are legal in the series. Alex Yontz seen here waiting to qualify at Hickory opts for the open motor.
How much does it cost a team to run a race or a full UARA season? If you already own and run a late-model stock car, most teams report they spend anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 per event. But if you're interested in putting together a budget for sponsorship or planning on running competitively for a full season, you're looking at a $100,000 investment. However, several of the well-heeled teams have spent upwards of $150,000. But experience, a lot of talented and supportive people in place and a tad of good luck can put you in contention for wins and a championship, even without spending $150,000.
In 2007, more than 125 teams participated in UARA-STARS events. In its short history, more than 200 drivers have qualified to run one of its 16 annual races. The 2007 season saw 11 different winners, and the summer months brought seven different winners in a seven-race stretch. With so many in the field capable of winning, fans are guaranteed to see an exciting race, regardless of venue.
B.J. Mackey from Rock Hill, S.C., was the only driver to claim three wins in the 2007 season, taking home trophies from Tri-County, Caraway and Dillon Motor Speedway.
Several teams won two races this past season:
Veteran Dennis Queen from Waynesville took home The Bad Boy Mowers 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway. He captured his second win in The Food City 150 at Newport Speedway.
Fifteen-year-old Matt DiBenedetto achieved wins at The Fairborn Equipment 150 at Concord, and again at Franklin County.
Kevin Leicht, Mark Setzer...
Kevin Leicht, Mark Setzer and Alex Yontz at a race at Bristol Motor Speedway, a crown jewel of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The likable Alex Yontz claimed two wins in 2007. In June, Yontz won The Strutmasters 150 at Ace Speedway. Later in the season, he won the first race to take place on the new surface at Bristol Motor Speedway. Yontz was also the 2006 winner of the Bailey's 300, the big annual late-model stock race at Martinsville.
He ran several 2007 ARCA/Remax Series races in a Richard Childress Racing development ride. And at the end of the UARA season, he played the role of car-owner, putting young Austin Dillon in the driver's seat of his orange No. 55. Dillon is the grandson of Richard Childress and the winner of last year's late-model portion of The Eckerd Outlaw Showdown on The Dirt Track at Lowes Motor Speedway.
Also posting wins in 2007 were Jamey Caudill, Roger Lee Newton, Jake Crum, R.A. Brown, Mark Setzer, Brandon McCarson and Ross Furr.
The 2007 season also saw several visits from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. development driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, a few runs by 2005 UARA-STARS Champion Matt McCall, as well as a driving appearance from Andy Petree, ex-Nextel Cup crew chief and car-owner turned ESPN race announcer.
The 2007 Championship
The 2007 UARA-STARS Championship was decided in The Marlow Racing Chassis 150 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. Only 12 points separated the top two drivers.
After an impressive season, Mark Setzer was in the coveted First spot. He recorded 12 Top 10 finishes and three pole positions. Trailing Setzer was Ross Furr. This 24-year-old from Concord, N.C., headed into the championship-deciding race with the highest average finish of the season. Furr missed qualifying for the first race of 2007, leaving him to play a bit of catch up, but his team persevered, and put the young gun into title contention.
B.J. Mackey stood Third in championship points. However, it would take more than a win to have a shot at the championship. Both Setzer and Furr would have to falter.